I try to plan out a couple meals a week for easy go-to dinner options and I love when my pantry + fridge are stocked with the items I reach for most often. There is no greater satisfaction than knowing I have nearly every ingredient on-hand to whip up a meal, eliminating grocery shopping entirely (or at least pretty darn close). This is one of the many reasons I love having breakfast for dinner; there are a variety of options that are super filling and I always have the ingredients stocked in my kitchen.
Below are the items I try to have in my pantry + fridge at all times. While your personal ingredient list might look different based upon the foods you eat most often, I highly suggest attempting to stock your kitchen too… it saves you time and money when you are at the store.
in my pantry:
(my little collection of oils, vinegar and cooking essentials… oh and some rice-a-roni and a random box of pancake mix)
salt. I like to have a variety of options for both cooking and finishing dishes. I keep kosher (which is what I primarily use), rock salt and flavored options like garlic and truffle salt stocked at all times.
spices. my spice cabinet needs some serious t.l.c. as it is an organizational nightmare but after a bit of searching, I can always find my salt, pepper, oregano, bay leaves, thyme, crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, chili powder, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, garlic powder, ground ginger and herbs de provence.
oils + vinegar. there are endless options for cooking oils available but I am partial to stocking my pantry with extra virgin, vegetable oil, toasted sesame oil, truffle oil, white + red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, sherry vinegar and soy sauce (or tamari).
grains + pastas. I can come up with an easy meal or side dish by keeping rice, dried polenta, steel cut oats and dried spaghetti noodles in my cabinets.
canned goods + stocks. you can count on me keeping tomato sauce, chicken stock, canned beans and diced tomatoes readily available for soups, pasta sauces or chili.
(keeping my dry goods in organized containers helps keep them fresh and easy to access… don’t worry, there are a ton of disorganized little bags just beyond view that I just chose not to capture)
in my fridge:
cheese. I use sharp cheddar cheese and parmesan reggiano on a regular basis so these are always stocked in my fridge.
eggs. it costs more but the taste is worth buying range free eggs and we eat them often enough that I want them to taste as delicious as possible.
butter. typically I will have a tub of butter for bread and than always keep a few sticks for cooking.
tortillas. they make a great wrap, are the ideal vessel to slop up soups + sauces and are perfect for a quick quesadilla lunch on a saturday afternoon.
hot sauce. my husband puts this on everything so we have a few options available such as sriracha, franks and both red + green tobasco.
lemons + limes. these little guys get used daily in my house for both food and drink.
garlic + onions. I don’t know if there are 2 ingredients I use more for nightly meals; they bring so much flavor to dishes and are in abundance in my kitchen.
(spices and herbs for days but it is a serious task to find stuff in my spice cabinet which I hope to be changing soon)
in my freezer:
coffee. our days of going out for coffee dates are slim to none so I like to keep really good regular + decaf varieties available at all times.
proteins. I try to keep a couple frozen options on-hand that I can thaw out for dinner. Usually I will have some type of sausage, chicken breasts and ground beef stocked in my freezer but if there is a good sale, I will buy some steaks to individually freeze too.
green chile. we buy roasted hatch or pueblo chile each fall and freeze them for homemade green chile, dips and to accompany meats on the grill. The canned varieties of green chile do not even compare to the flavor from the fresh stuff I buy and freeze each year.
(another shot of my spice cabinet with some of my favorite ingredients: salt, truffle oil, a pepper mill for fresh-cracked pepper and red pepper in many varieties)
So that’s a look at my tips and tricks for stocking my fridge + pantry. I would love to know, what are the items you like to keep on hand in your kitchen? Is there something I am missing that I should be adding into the mix?